Sicilian Expedition – 415-413 BC; Athenian decision during the peace in the Peloponnesian War to aid the colony of Segesta against Syracuse.
Proposed by Alcibiades, who abandoned it due to charges placed against him.
Effectively led by Nicias, who resisted the idea in the first place.
A terrible failure, and the Athenians sent the general Demosthenes to save the fleet.
Nicias refused to leave then because of superstition, and both were killed along with the majority of the Athenian military.
A crippling blow from which Athens would never truly recover. 9.
Arginusae – 406 BC; Eight Athenian strategoi save the blockaded forces at Mytilene in a pitched naval battle, but a fierce storm prevents them from rescuing the survivors.
For this, 6 of the 8 strategoi were executed, despite their victory. 10.
Aegospotami – 405 BC; Lysander ambushes the Athenian fleet when they land to hunt/camp, crushing their main force and ending the Peloponnesian War.
Only Conon and his ship escape for the Athenians.
Aegospotami means “Goat’s River” 11.
Lysander – Spartan general who won at Aegospotami in 405, forcing Athens to surrender.
Dies during the ensuing Corinthian War. 12.
Thirty Tyrants – oligarchic group imposed on Athens by Sparta after the Peloponnesian War, in 404.
Led by Critias and Theramenes, they oppressed the citizens’ rights, imprisoned, exiled, and killed political opponents, until the exiled general Thrasybulus returned with Theban support and drove them out a year after their installment.
Democracy was reinstated. 13.
Thucydides – the historian of the Peloponnesian War, who only wrote about things he was alive to experience or things other living people had experienced.
More technical and scientific than Herodotus. Struggles for Power 1.
Xenophon – general and historian – after the Persian King Darius II’s death, his son Cyrus the Younger raised an army of Greek mercenaries to overthrow his older brother Artaxerxes II.
Xenophon was part of this army, which won at Cunaxa in 401 BC.
Cyrus died, however, leaving the Greeks stranded in Persia.
Artaxerxes tricked the Greek generals into a meeting where they were killed, and Xenophon was selected as a new general.
He led the remaining Greeks home through Persian territories, writing about this March of the Ten Thousand in his Anabasis. 2.
Corinthian War – Sparta soon lost favor with its allies and Persia following the Peloponnesian War, being too aggressive.
Thebes, Corinth, Athens, and Argos declared war on Sparta at Persia’s suggestion.
A stalemate ensued on land, but Persia annihilated Sparta’s navy.
Athens used this as an opportunity to reclaim Ionian cities from Sparta, which Persia disliked, so Persia switched to support Sparta.
Losing their financial support, the allies asked for peace with Sparta.
Several new tactics were experimented with, as Iphicrates of Athens defeated a force of hoplites with the lightly-armored peltasts. 3.
King’s Peace – 387 BC, ended the Corinthian War.
Named King’s Peace because the Great King of Persia dictated the terms.
Alternatively called the Peace of Antalcidas, the Spartan diplomat.
Persia claimed all of Ionia as a result of this. 4.
Epaminondas – Theban general who led Thebes during its hegemony (supremacy), along with the lesser Pelopidas.
Pioneered the use of the staggered and unbalanced phalanx, overwhelming one side of the enemy’s forces first, then wrapping around them with the first side as the second side finally hit the enemy’s second side. 5.
Leuctra – 371 BC; Epaminondas’s greatest victory, which secured Theban hegemony over Sparta. 6.
Mantinea – 362 BC; Another victory for Thebes, but Epaminondas dies, telling Pelopidas to make peace, since Thebes would lose without Epaminondas’s command. Macedonian Supremacy 1.
Philip II – Macedonian king and a shrewd politician and general, who consolidated Macedonian power in the north through political alliances and marriages, then looked south to Greece.
Eventually wiped out Thebes and Athens, the only resistance, at the battle of Chaeronea in 338, and set up the Corinthian League of Greeks to submit to Macedon.
Assassinated in 336, leading to his son Alexander’s rise to power. 2.
Sarissa – a longer spear introduced by Philip II as one of his military reforms. 16 to 18 feet long rather than the usual 8-9 feet.
This added range made the Macedonian phalanx vastly superior to the other Greeks’ 3.
Demosthenes – the greatest Greek orator, who flourished in Athens in the 340’s when he delivered speeches supporting war with Macedon.
Fled when the war actually came.
The speeches against Philip were called the Philippics, a name Cicero copies.
Demosthenes had a speech disability, and practiced by speaking against the waves with stones in his mouth. 4.
Chaeronea – 338 BC; Philip & Alexander wipe out the only Greek resistance, from Athens and Thebes, consolidating Macedonian power.
Alexander defeats the powerful Sacred Band of Thebes. 5.
Alexander III “the Great” – Macedonian king who followed his father Philip and lived from 356-323.
He conquered Asia Minor, the Levant, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, modern Afghanistan and into the Punjab region of Pakistan, initially as a campaign to reclaim Ionian cities and exact revenge on Persia.
Cut the Gordian knot, which was prophesied to be untied by the future ruler of Asia.
Claimed descent from Zeus Ammon, founded dozens of cities (most called Alexandria), and brought Greek culture to the East, creating Hellenistic cultures from combination with local cultures.
His army mutinied in India, and he died on the way home, from fever in Babylon in 323, at the age of 32.
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